The Pittsburgh Symphony OrchestraThursday, March 15, 2018 @ 8 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
(1.5 hrs. approximate run time)
In honor of Women’s History Month, join the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (lead by Christine Hestwood) for a program celebrating female artists. Inspiration and Tenacity features the world premier of Philadelphia composer Jennifer Higdon‘s Tuba Concerto as well as a selection of female writers responding to the issues of the day.
Christine Hestwood is a Pittsburgh-based conductor, educator and singer who has enjoyed a long association with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Her past projects include work in audience engagement and music education advocacy and her favorite projects include the Night of 2,000 Stars (co-director), a 1996 project that featured 2,000 high school singers and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. She served as co-director of the April 2013 Music for the Spirit concert, where more than 1,500 singers from Pittsburgh area high schools, colleges and community choirs joined voices to sing with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. She was the assistant conductor of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and music director of the Junior Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. Hestwood is a vocal music teacher in the Upper St. Clair School District and the director of music at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Upper St. Clair. Hestwood sings with Seraphic Singers, a 12-voice professional women’s chorus based in Pittsburgh. Hestwood earned degrees from Duquesne University (B.S. in voice and music education) and Carnegie Mellon University (M.M. in conducting), where she studied with Robert Page. Hestwood is honored and delighted to continue Marvin and Bob’s dream!
Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon is one of America’s most acclaimed and most frequently performed living composers. Higdon started late in music, teaching herself to play flute at the age of 15 and beginning formal musical studies at 18, with an even later start in composition at the age of 21.
Despite this late beginning, she has become a major figure in contemporary classical music and makes her living from commissions. These commissions represent a range of genres, including orchestral, chamber, choral, vocal and wind ensemble.
Hailed by the Washington Post as “a savvy, sensitive composer with a keen ear, an innate sense of form and a generous dash of pure esprit,” her works have been performed throughout the world, and are enjoyed by audiences at several hundred performances a year and on over 60 CDs. Higdon’s orchestral work, blue cathedral, is one of the most performed contemporary orchestral compositions by a living American with more than 600 performances worldwide since its premiere in 2000. Her list of commissioners and performing organizations is extensive and includes the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Luzern Sinfonieorchester, Hague Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony and Dallas Symphony, as well as such groups as the Tokyo String Quartet, eighth blackbird and the President’s Own Marine Band. Higdon has worked with musicians that include Nathan Gunn, Isabel Leonard, Hilary Hahn and Yuja Wang.
PSO @ COA is a new collaboration which explores the creative intersection of music, art, and spoken word at Alphabet City. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, in partnership with the City of Asylum, has created a series of five events in the 2017-18 season that will employ and reflect the expertise and experiences of the artists of these two innovative groups. Themes and content have been jointly created to incorporate composers, musicians, poets, writers, and artists from Pittsburgh and around the globe. Hosted by PSO Associate Conductors, each session ties into a theme on a Pittsburgh Symphony BNY Mellon Grand Classical performance and attendees will receive discounts to these concerts.